David Cameron cancelled summer holiday because he couldn't get any signal on his phone

PM couldn't keep up to date with fall of Gaddafi

Adam Withnall
Sunday 22 June 2014 12:05
Comments
David Cameron has said he had to cut short holidays in Cornwall because of the lack of mobile phone signal
David Cameron has said he had to cut short holidays in Cornwall because of the lack of mobile phone signal

David Cameron has revealed that he has twice cut short family holidays to Cornwall and rushed back to London – because he was unable to get signal on his mobile phone.

For many of us the chance to disconnect is one of the biggest perks of a summer getaway – but it seems it isn’t that simple when you’re the Prime Minister and crises erupt in the Middle East.

Bemoaning the woeful broadband speeds and network coverage available in the hills and B roads of the South West, Mr Cameron admitted that there had been times when it was so bad he had to give up on his regular rural escape altogether.

Speaking in an interview marking the Western Morning News’ first Sunday edition today, the Prime Minister said that for important calls to the likes of US President Barack Obama he “know[s] where to go to get signal”.

But when more volatile and long-running conflicts have emerge in recent years, Mr Cameron said, Cornish connectivity hasn’t been enough for him to keep up.

In August last year he had to rush back east to deal with the growing crisis in Syria, and in 2011 a lack of signal similarly prevented him from being updated on the fall of colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

He said poor technology “affects Prime Ministers making important calls wherever they are, but it affects everybody”, and that so-called Broadband “not-spots” are “a really big issue for people all over the country”.

Mr Cameron’s Government has already said it is investing up to £150 million to improve mobile coverage in areas where there is currently no coverage from any of the mobile network operators.

David and Samantha Cameron on holiday in Polzeath, Cornwall last summer

And ministers are discussing plans to persuade mobile phone operators to help increase coverage by sharing phone masts, allowing for national roaming across providers in the UK and addressing the “not-spot” issue.

The Prime Minister said: “For rural communities, not being connected to super-fast broadband is a bit like not being connected to the road network. It's that bad.

“So much work is being done online that it really is a 'must-have'. We've got to crack this.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in